An Interview with Donnovan Campbell

Author Donnovan Campbell
  1. Describe yourself in five words
    I’d say funny, thoughtful, blessed, loved, and supported.
  2. What fact about yourself would really surprise people?
    I love baking tres leches cakes. This accountant and author bakes great brownies and cookies, but my best dessert to bake is tres leches cake.
  3. How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
    I first identify them when they occur. Then I normally see if what I am afraid of is actually true. As a Christian,
    I know to trust God and that whatever I cannot do on my own, I can surely do with him. Then I go for it. I admit I don’t always do this. I have many times succumbed to self-doubt and fear, but I am learning to apply this method.
  4. What scares you the most?
    Besides the Tennessee Titans winning a Superbowl before the Jacksonville Jaguars (I am a Jaguars fan after all), I would say that what scares me the most is leaving a burden to my family and friends. I work hard for those who have poured into me, and seeing that I have
    seen a lot of people in my life leave burdens that their friends and family can barely bear scares me the most.
  5. What makes you happiest?
    What makes me happiest is helping friends and family succeed. I am not going to pretend that I am a saint and that it’s always fun to see someone surpass me. I am very competitive. Nevertheless, I have been on a journey on discovering who I am and who I want to be. I found out within the last two years that I love creativity. I want to create books, movies, businesses, and more. I also found out that I love helping others and that it was a huge mission for me.
  6. Why do you write?
    I write because I love to write. I love creating new things. I also had learned a lot, especially within the last two years, that I wanted to give to others. I saw a real need in my community for what I had to say, and I hope it helps my community and the world like it helped me.
  7. Have you always enjoyed writing?
    I would not say that I always enjoyed writing, but I always loved making new things. I remember as a kid I would draw characters and make up stories in my head about them. I was not the best at drawing, but my stories were amazing. I also used to go in my family’s recycling bin and make all kind of things like ninja bo staffs, coolers, robots that did not move, miniature hockey table, and more. It wasn’t until middle school that I got into writing poetry and entering them into poetry contests for extra credit (Thank you teachers out there). From those writings, I learned to enjoy the making and expression of writing.
  8. What motivates you to write?
    Passion, the challenge, and a feeling of accomplishment. I have a passion to write if you cannot tell yet, and instead of sitting on my writings like I had for several years, I decided to take on the challenge of self-publishing my books. They are in the genre of fiction, which is highly saturated with competition, which motivates me more to succeed. Finally, I am accomplishing part of my purpose. That motivates me to continue writing.
  9. What writing are you most proud of?
    I am most proud of the book I am writing now, Unlocking the Future’s Past Book 2. It requires discipline to write 750 words each day, and every time I accomplish the writing it makes me feel great that I accomplished a task that is going towards a goal I have not accomplished yet: writing a 100,000 word book (less revisions and edits).
  10. What are you most proud of in your personal life?
    I am proud of being a part of a great family. I know I am blessed to have the support and friendship I would say with my parents and brother. Not everyone has that so I am proud to be allowed to have this blessing
  11. What books did you love growing up?
    I loved the Hardy Boys series and Nancy Drew series, as well as Agatha Christie books growing up. I know they are not within the genre I write, but I always loved the language and intrigue.
  12. What do you hope your obituary will say about you?
    I hope it says I made a difference. That is my ultimate mission. If it also says, “I am Batman,” that would be cool too.
  13. Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
    I grew up in the Hampton, VA as well as the Newport News, VA areas and now still live in Newport News (although I am moving soon). It is like what they say, “Once you live in Virginia, you want to stay in Virginia” or something like that.
  14. How did you develop your writing?
    I learn best by doing so I develop my writing by writing, listening and reading books so I can apply what I learn, and by having a great editor show where I need much improvement. I am still working on developing more writing skills.
  15. What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
    Although I heard that getting published is the hardest, since I took the route of self-publishing, I would say the hardest part is marketing. I am still new at it, but once you have developed the habit of writing, you must market your book, whether you go through a publisher or through self-publishing.
  16. What marketing works for you?
    So far Instagram and Facebook works best for me. I am trying different techniques and following a marketing plan I and a person who works in marketing helped developed.
  17. Do you find it hard to share your work?
    I do sometimes find it hard to share, but I have found that writing is something you must appreciate for yourself first and realize that many people have not accomplished it. If there is someone out there within the billions of people on this planet who could enjoy or use your work, even if it is just yourself, then it is worth sharing.
  18. Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
    My family and friends have been very supportive. They have given me feedback on my work, purchased my books, and help spread the word of their release. They are a great blessing.
  19. What else do you do, other than write?
    I am an accountant and financial professional. I help businesses structure and run their accounting and finance systems, and I help families and individuals learn financial literacy. I help them save with a purpose, prepare a legacy for their family, and help people get out of debt.
  20. What other jobs have you had in your life?
    I have had only one other job, student worker. It was a fun job where I got to drive golf carts, set up at events, and talk to people at the front desk.
  21. If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
    I would study Cost accounting. I have learned that no man knows everything. There is always more to learn in just about any skill a person has learned. Knowing that I have a lot more to learn in accounting, I would try to take classes that would improve my strengths.
  22. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
    I do not know exactly, but I would love to live in a place that is warm. I am not a big fan of the cold.
  23. Tell us about your family?
    I come from a blessed multi-cultural family. My dad’s side is from New York and St. Louis, Missouri. My mom’s side of the family comes from Canada and Jamaica. I get my love of warm weather from my mom, but as you can probably guess I did not get my dislike of the cold from either of my parents. I also have a younger brother currently in college studying to become an engineer.
  24. How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
    I write by laptop. I made an outline with pencil and paper, but I write stories by laptop while sitting on my couch, recliner, or desk chair.
  25. How much sleep do you need to be your best?
    Enough sleep
  26. Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
    I would like to thank my brother and my parents for supporting me as well as my friend Michael who encouraged me to continue writing.
  27. Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
    A successful career in writing to me is one where I am continually writing and loving it while also having many readers reading my book. I would also like to make a profit as that is why I charge for my books, but overall, if I am loving what I do and earning money to keep it going, then everything else will work out.
  28. It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
    So far, since I learn by doing, I have been doing trial and error. I received advice of which avenues to pursue from a person experienced in marketing books. Since I am marketing three books at once, I promote each differently. For String Cheese: To the Cheese with the String, it is for children 12 years old and younger, so I promote on blogs, Facebook, and Instagram towards parents. For Unlocking the Future’s Past Book One, it is a Science Fiction books for teens, so I promote on blogs and Instagram towards teenagers looking for an inexpensive good read. The Chronicles of Mother Earth Book One: The Elven Uprising is a Fantasy book, which I promote in a similar way as my previous book. I also go to different functions and am part of a Creative Arts group where we help each other succeed and share our works. Finally, I promote through word of mouth. It is still effective.
  29. Tell us about your new book? Why did you write it?
    I have three books that were just released. The first book, String Cheese: To the Cheese with the String, I began as a teenager in 2011. My mom was working during the summer in a private school library. I was brought along. It was very small, but it had two computers in it. I watched Youtube, made up PowerPoints for characters I drew, but one day, I decided to start writing. After that, I had to continue completing it. Throughout the rest of high school and college, I would write a few things and then stop for a while. Nonetheless, in 2018, I decided it was time to finish it and have it published. After researching what to do, I saw that for new authors, it was recommended to release at least two to three books, and that was why I wrote my latest two books. I am glad I did because the more I wrote, the better I became, and the more of my likes, dislikes, views, and personality I could share.
  30. If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
    I would ask King David, my parents and brother, my grandparents from both sides of my family, my great grandfather, Denzel Washington, Will Smith, and King Solomon. I think I can learn from them, and they would get along barring language barriers. In that case, I would also ask for a translator.
  31. When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
    I read books and sports articles, watch anime and older shows like WKRP in Cincinatti and Johnny Carson, and I sleep (my favorite way to relax).
  32. What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
    I hope people will feel the urge to not let their circumstances hold them down, not let themselves be defeated, but instead be empowered to use their experiences to grow themselves and help others.

Do you have links that you’d like to share for others to read?
My website and blog, The Porcelain Cup, is at DonnCampbell.wixsite.com/author.

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